- Carers are people who regularly look after a friend or relative who need support because of an illness, disability or frailty. They are unpaid and may or may not live with the person that they care for.
- Young carers are defined as children and young people under 18 who provide regular and ongoing care and emotional support to a family member who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or misuses substances. A section on young carers is included within the ‘Starting Well’ section of the JSNA.
- Breakdown of carer support is a frequent cause of hospital admission or readmission.
- Supporting carers to look after their own health and well-being and access support will both improve their lives and significantly delay the need for the person receiving care to go into residential care.
- The ageing population means that as people live longer, the number of carers required in Oldham will increase.
Data from the Office for National Statistics indicates that there were 24,312 unpaid carers in Oldham recorded in the last UK Census in 2011:
- Carers providing 1 to 19 hours unpaid care a week: 14,522
- Carers providing 20 to 49 hours unpaid care a week: 3,650
- Carers providing 50 or more hours unpaid care a week: 6,140
There were more female carers (14,033) than male carers (10,279) reported in the Census.
2,662 carers in Oldham reported that they themselves had a long-term condition or disability that limited their day-to-day activities a lot. A further 4,017 reported that they had a long-term condition or disability that limited their day-to-day activities a little.
It is important to note there is likely to be a large number of ‘hidden’ carers in Oldham that may not identify themselves as carers in the Census or other surveys.
This national survey takes place every other year and is conducted by Councils with Adult Social Services Responsibilities (CASSRs). The survey seeks the opinions of carers aged 18 or over, caring for a person aged 18 or over, on a number of topics that are considered to be indicative of a balanced life alongside their unpaid caring role.
A total of 1201 Oldham carers responded to the 2016/17 survey. The full dataset can be accessed here. Some of the key findings are summarised below:
- A total of 454 carers responded to a question about how they spend their time. Only 76 people (17%) said they were able to spend their time as they wanted and doing things they value or enjoy. 296 people (65%) said they do some of the things they value or enjoy but not enough, while 82 people (18%) said they don’t do anything that they value or enjoy.
- People described a range of ways in which caring had impacted on their health in the previous 12 months: